Planning is the first step in any successful remodeling project, where you sort out priorities and make decisions about the scope of the project to guide everything that follows. Taking time to consider choices and make informed decisions means saving money as it is far less expensive to change ideas on paper than something already built.
Prioritizing Your Remodeling Goals
Planning starts with listing all the ideas you’ve been collecting. Photographs in books, magazines & websites will help you communicate your ideas when talking to your remodeling team. Grouping your ideas can help you decide how to allocate your remodeling dollars.
- Functional goals – are tied to specific activities or needs, i.e. more bathroom storage, a soaking tub, a baking center in the new kitchen.
- Space requirements – often required adding/rearranging space, i.e. adding eating space to the kitchen or an oversize shower in the master bathroom.
- Design/style – give your new room(s) a personality that reflects you and your lifestyle. From paint colors to window treatments, light fixtures, flooring and custom trim, these are the things you’ll see every time you enter the room.
Setting a Remodeling Budget
A budget gives you a framework for making decisions about the major purchases in your remodeling project. A $2,500 soaking tub would fit comfortably in a $40,000 budget for your bathroom remodel. If you’ve got a $20,000 bathroom budget and you’re planning to move walls, plumbing, replace all the fixtures and tile the floor and tub surround, then $2,500 might be the only fixture you can splurge on.
When setting your remodeling budget, here are things you want to consider:
- How long do you expect to stay in your home?
- How likely are you to recoup your investment when you sell your home?
- What is your priority for this project? It’s possible to reuse some fixtures and upgrade them later to fit your family budget.
- How will you finance your remodeling project? Your decisions may change if you’re using savings versus a home equity loan or refinancing.
Project Scope Creep
We want you to be thrilled with the work we do for you. We also know homeowners frequently add to their project after we’ve started, sometimes extending beyond their budget. By looking at your plans for several years, it’s easier to put the first project in perspective. While we recommend including 20% contingency in your budget (10% for things you can’t plan for like mold behind a bathroom wall; 10% for homeowner changes/additions), we also recommend considering the following while planning.
- Major system upgrades/replacement – where you could save money by combining one with your remodeling project, i.e. new siding if you’re putting on an addition or new heating/cooling system if you’re not happy with climate control in the master bathroom you’re remodeling.
- Timeline and living with your remodeling team – as multiple projects or a large addition can extend beyond a year. Do you prefer getting it all done now? or staging projects across multiple years?
- Budgeting and staging the build-out to fit your cash flow – is a viable alternative to financing a large/multiple projects. You can do all your planning and design work up front, and stage the build-out over several years.